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Latest Kaiser Health News Stories

As Overdoses Soar, More States Decriminalize Fentanyl Testing Strips

KHN Original

Georgia may soon join a growing list of states decriminalizing the use of fentanyl testing strips. Bans of the strips — on the books in about half of states, experts say — stem from laws criminalizing drug paraphernalia adopted decades ago. But the testing devices are now recommended to help prevent overdose deaths.

Shot of shelves stocked with various medicinal products in a pharmacy

Pharmacies Face Extra Audit Burdens That Threaten Their Existence

KHN Original

Pharmacy benefit managers have curtailed in-person audits of pharmacy claims during the pandemic, switching to virtual audits done by computer. That has markedly increased the number of claims they can review — and the chances for payment denials — squeezing pharmacies and bringing in more cash for the benefit companies.

States Step Up Push to Regulate Pharmacy Drug Brokers

KHN Original

In an ongoing effort to control prescription drug costs, states are targeting the companies that mediate deals among drug manufacturers, health insurers and pharmacies. The pharmacy benefit managers say they negotiate lower prices for patients, yet the nitty-gritty occurs largely behind a curtain that lawmakers are trying to pull back.

KHN on the Air This Week

KHN Original

KHN and California Healthline staff made the rounds on national and local media this week to discuss their stories. Here’s a collection of their appearances.

Homeless Shelters Grapple With COVID Safety as Cold Creeps In

KHN Original

During the pandemic, shelters are having to change the way they do things to prevent the virus from spreading among the vulnerable homeless population. Now, as winter weather moves in, there’s less room at the shelters for those in need — threatening to leave many, literally, out in the cold.